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Liveaboard Trip Canceled 24 Hours before Departure

Does this Diver Deserve More?

Erica Watson (Chicago, IL) won a trip aboard the Oman Aggressor at a drawing at the Aggressor booth at Our World Underwater in February 2017. While her voucher was good for a year, the liveaboard’s maiden voyage wasn’t until late November 2017, so she had a narrow window of opportunity.

She signed up for a December trip and flew at her own expense 20 hours to Oman. After settling into her hotel room, she received a call. The next day’s departure and the entire cruise was canceled, because, she was told, a group due to board had canceled, and it was now too expensive to take the boat out for just two people.

She was shocked. Who wouldn’t be?  The best the Aggressor could do was let her stay on the boat in the harbor and take day dive trips with a local operation. She turned that offer down because “I didn't really want to stay on a boat in a marina on Christmas.” So, they offered to extend her voucher, and she could return another time.

“There was one other person who was to be on the boat, and he was given a refund and offered a half-price voucher for the same trip at a later date (the same incentive that is being offered in many emails I currently get). My best guess is there was no group, and somehow they forgot to tell us until we were there or on our way. [That the Aggressor was offering half off trips on the Oman Aggressor in January implies they’re having trouble filling the boat.]

Erica had Dive Assure trip insurance, but the policy wouldn’t reimburse here airfare or other expenses since the Aggressor did not cancel because of bad weather or mechanical problems. It simply had refused to sail.

So, instead of spending a week aboard the Aggressor, she paid for her hotel, meals, and diving, hoping for some good photos.

“But, the water was very green, and the visibility was horrid. I made the most of the situation while there, and I had an amazing time exploring Oman and UAE.”

  Having seen the green water and done the tourist thing Erica doesn’t care to buy a second round trip flight to return to Oman, so “I have written to the VP of Aggressor to ask that I could be allowed to use the voucher for another boat as they only offered to extend the one I had for the same boat on the phone call [from the president, Wayne Brown]. No reply yet. I also tried calling, but there was no answer. I do not currently have a new/extended voucher in my hands. I am still waiting on that. I see two versions of making good here. One is they can just extend it -- crappy in my mind and doing the minimum. Or they could excel and even just speak to me or return my calls/emails. I still have NO response at all.”

          What complicates this for the Aggressor is that the boats are owned individually, and the Aggressor Fleet is essentially a marketing organization. Regardless, there are surely creative ways for the Headquarters and the owner of the Oman Aggressor to figure out how to apply the voucher to other boats, so we can’t let that get in the way.

So click here for our question for you
(survey closes March 23, 2018)

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